Mesothelioma Awareness Day is almost here! Each year on September 26th, survivors, advocates, patients and their loved ones, experts and various organizations come together to bring awareness to mesothelioma and asbestos, the mineral that causes it. Just like in years past, the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance will be participating in the #ENDMeso tweetchat hosted by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
The tweetchat begins at 12pm EDT on Tuesday, September 26 and will continue until around 1pm. This year, the chat will also be bilingual, with questions and answers in both English and Spanish. The online chat always brings together so many unique voices that have been touched by mesothelioma in some way, as well as those who simply want to learn more or help raise awareness. The #ENDMeso conversation is one great option to help bring more attention to the day and help inform others about this rare cancer.
What to Expect
If you’re interested in participating or following along with the tweetchat on Mesothelioma Awareness Day, it’s really easy to get involved. Since the chat will be hosted on Twitter, having an account will be necessary in order to respond to questions and interact with other participants. The questions will be sent out from Linda Reinstein, the co-founder of ADAO, so it will also be helpful to follow her account (@Linda_ADAO) before the tweetchat begins.
The ADAO has also been helpful in supplying their questions ahead of time for anyone who wants to prepare answers or even schedule tweets ahead of time if they are unable to make the chat in real-time. The expected topics include:
- Q1: How do you raise asbestos and mesothelioma awareness?
- Q2: What should a newly diagnosed patient know?
- Q3: What was the most helpful resource you’ve found?
- Q4: Where do you find strength?
- Q5: What life lesson have you learned from mesothelioma?
When answering the questions, also be sure to include “A1, A2, etc.” before your answers, so other participants can easily tell what you’re responding to. Also, remember to include #ENDMeso in the tweets to be part of the conversation’s thread.
This year, the ADAO announced the co-moderators will be Less Cancer (@LessCancer) and Colombia Sin Asbestos (@AnaCNio), as well as the team behind “Steve McQueen: American Icon,” a film that chronicles the actor’s life that was cut short by mesothelioma (@McQueenEvent). Other organizations and advocates will also be participating in the tweetchat, including 11-year survivor and advocate Heather Von St. James at @heathervsj.
Other Ways to Get Involved
The #ENDMeso tweetchat is just one way to get involved for Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Even if you can’t join during the tweetchat, spreading the word on social media at any time throughout the day can be a powerful way to bring more awareness to the disease. Feel free to continue using the hashtag and add your voice to the conversation.
Attend an Event: Beyond social media, there will be awareness events held around the country. Miles for Meso, for example, will be hosting walks/runs in several states including Illinois on different days throughout the last week of September. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation will also be in the audience of the Today show on the morning of September 26th to hopefully bring widespread attention to the disease. The organization will even provide blue awareness t-shirts and signs to anyone who wants to participate! Other awareness events and educational conferences are held throughout the year, so there are always plenty of opportunities to get involved after Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Donate: Donations to organizations like the ADAO or towards mesothelioma research will also go a long way. There is no cure for mesothelioma. This cancer is difficult to treat because it’s aggressive and often found at a late stage. Research, including clinical trials, is essential to finding better ways to diagnose and treat the disease, so patients in the future hopefully won’t face such a grim prognosis.
Support a Ban: Banning asbestos is the surest way to better prevent mesothelioma and the other diseases it may cause. Currently, the United States is closer than it has been in decades to a full ban on asbestos as the EPA investigates the mineral along with nine other chemicals. Now more than ever, more people need to show their support of a ban by calling their local representatives, signing petitions, and rallying behind the cause in whatever way they can.
Together We Can End Mesothelioma
Raising awareness and bringing attention to this rare cancer can truly save lives. There are many misconceptions around the disease, including the belief that asbestos is banned and no longer a concern. Education is key to prevention, and Mesothelioma Awareness Day is one great day to help raise awareness and protect your loved ones from asbestos-related diseases.
Please join us in Mesothelioma Awareness Day efforts however you can, and let’s keep working to make both asbestos and mesothelioma things of the past!